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Unitingcare justifies hydrotherapy pool decision

UnitingCare Director Anne Cross defended the decision to redevelop the Wesley Hospital property

UnitingCare Director Anne Cross assured the Queensland Synod that the future of the Uniting Church’s Community Services work was looking bright, and acknowledged the difficulties

She commended the work of the heads of UnitingCare agencies Blue Care, Lifeline Community Care, Uniting Health care, UnitingCare Centre for Social Justice, and Crossroads and said UnitingCare was “looking forward and move forward with heart”.

Ms Cross praised the work of UnitingCare community organisations such as Lifeline Cairns and its efforts in recovery after Cyclone Larry.

The hardships of compliance, the time given to those issues and the large amounts of paperwork that creates were all issues Ms Cross said were worrying staff and pulling on resources.

The development of the Wesley Hospital and the closure of the hydrotherapy pool were hot topics in the UnitingCare report to the Synod.

“There was no other option for this redevelopment,” said Ms Cross.

“We are working with the owner of the business that runs the hydrotherapy pool to relocate the business.

St Andrews hospital is also under redevelopment.

“We are looking at discovering the possibilities of an integrated rehabilitation unit integrating hydrotherapy on the St Andrews sight.”

Rev John Woodley spoke of his concern that statements given to councils of the church to approve the Wesley redevelopment were inaccurate. One was that the proposal was based on reduced requirement for the hydrotherapy pool.

“25,000 people used the pool in 2006. If various councils of the Church agreed of false information does that make the agreements void?” he asked.

Ms Cross assured the Synod that the statement was taken out of context. It was about the reduction in use of the hydrotherapy pool by hospital patients.

“In the context of the competing demands for space at the hospital, the planning report submitted to the Brisbane City Council said that this was a lesser need,” she said.

“Current use of the pool for hydrotherapy by inpatients is about 10%. It is clearly a community service of which inpatients of the hospital are merely a part.

“That sentence needs to be read in context of the whole planning report submitted to Brisbane City Council,” said Ms Cross.

She also acknowledged that UnitingCare knew there were people who are distressed and concerned about the decision.


Photo : UnitingCare Director Anne Cross defended the decision to redevelop the Wesley Hospital property